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How do I keep food hot in a cooler?

Q-rious TomQ-rious Tom Posts: 116
edited 7:38AM in EggHead Forum
Assuming the food itself doesn't have the mass to hold a lot of heat.[p]Hot bricks? (what kind of brick, and how hot?)[p]Other methods?[p]TIA[p]Tom


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    Q-rious Tom,
    i put a bean pot full of beans in there and its hot all day. something similar would work

  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    Q-rious Tom,
    Fill the cooler with hot water for an hour or 2 before putting the food in it, then cover the food with a towel or 2..will stay hot for a long time..[p]Wess

  • mb168mb168 Posts: 265
    fishlessman,[p]I do this for butts. When the butt is about at 185, I fill up my electric kettle and turn it on to boil some water, dump it in, and let it sit closed and depending on how long it takes the butt to get to 195, I may do this again. I leave the hot water in there until I wrap the butt in 2 layers of foil, then I dump out the hot water and quickly dry it with a towel, lay 2 beach towels in the bottom, then the butt, then 2 more towels on top. 2 weeks ago I did this at 9:30AM, loaded the cooler in the car and drove to Atlanta, 5 hrs, and ate bbq sandwiches for supper that were still hot.
  • HammerHammer Posts: 1,001
    Q-rious Tom,
    I wrap in foil; then towels. Put in cooler and put wadded up newspapers on top of this. Newspapers are one of the best insulators around.. Just ask the people who sleep on the streets each night. They use cardboard box's and newspapers.

  • mb168mb168 Posts: 265
    Hammer,[p]I'm not certain if thats why they use them, i'm sure if they had blankets they would use the newspaper for other things, newspaper is just readily available for free. If paper was a good insulator, North Face would make winter jackets out of shredded newspaper. [p]The one advantage the paper has over a blanket is it cuts wind, which isn't an issue in the cooler I hope. Cyclists have been doing this for years in big races like le Tour. They'll climb a moutain getting higher and cooler but sweating up a storm with their jersey unzipped. When they get to the top, someone standing on the side of the road will hand them a newspaper or magazine to stick in their jersey before they zip it up and zoom down the other side at 50+mph covered in sweat. It keeps the wind off their chest while their back is free to breath and evaporate sweat. [p]Sorry, thats our lesson for the day.
  • Q-rious Tom,[p]I like that question "How to keep food hot in a cooler"?[p]Can someone also tell me, why we drive on a parkway and park in a driveway? LOL
  • RJHRJH Posts: 129
    Another option for heating it up, if you have a gasser that you're barely using anymore, heat up a brick or two wrapped in foil and put those in the ice chest. Just be sure to put a couple of strips of wood in the bottom so the bricks aren't sitting right on the plastic, they will melt or warp it. Do you hear the voice of experience talking? LOL
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    I knew I had read a post from someone melting a cooler that way...LOL[p]Wess

  • ArtieQArtieQ Posts: 65
    Lost in Utah,
    Probably the same reason why the Waffle House is open 24/7/365 but has locks on the doors!!!

  • the_more_you_know775718.jpg
    <p />mb168,

  • HammerHammer Posts: 1,001
    I appreciate the lesson and what you say has merit. However, three things stick out in my mind.
    1. Many of the folks on this forum also use newspaper including several who cook in national competition.
    2. As a young Boy Scout; they use to teach you how to make a sleeping bag using newspaper and a blanket. It was also in the Boy Scout Manual. Being an Eagle Scout, I made a lot of them.
    3. I work with two (2) organizations which work with the homeless, and street people. These folks don't always have a shelter or a blanket. They were the folks that touted the use of newspaper and cardboard box's as well.[p]

  • mb168mb168 Posts: 265
    Hammer,[p]I think we're missing something here. While newspaper CAN be used as a blanket, house, insulator, whatever, it is not the BEST at any of those things. It is merely cheap and readily accessible. No one is donating $200 in wool clothing and blankets to homeless and it isn't found in trash cans down in da hood, thats why homeless use newspaper. As for food, the best thing about it is, you don't have to remember to bring it with you, or wash it when it's done. You pull it out and throw it in the trash or use it on top of a table, no cleanup. But I'd bet another towel or blanket on top of the pile in the cooler would be equal or better. [p]I wasn't a Boy Scout but I bet that the reason they taught you that was supposedly survival. If you were trying to survive and found a sleeping bag, I'm sure they would want you to abandon the paper bag.
  • Q-rious Tom,[p]Check out the link. Works like a charm.
    [ul][li]Hot Water Bottle[/ul]
  • mb168mb168 Posts: 265
    Long Time No Post,[p]I like the idea but it seems a bit expensive, especially if you add the awesome plaid cozy which you would have to get. I had considered turning on eof my coolers into a meat warmer and drill as small a hole as possible in it and run a cord to an electric blanket that would just live on the bottom. Then fill the hole with silicon or something. The only issue there would be power if you were traveling but it could get it prewarmed and stay warm for a while.
  • Q-rious Tom,
    i'm gonna try using a "heating pad"....perhaps an electric blanket??..... i'll let ya know how it works out........ i used to fill the "cooler" with hot water for awhile... ( and empty it out before putting in the meat)... worked great!.... i think i'm on to something here with the electric version... i can't believe i haven't thought of this sooner! thanks! rr

  • QBabeQBabe Posts: 2,275
    mb168,[p]Don't knock it until you've tried it. I've done it both ways in the cooler, newspaper and towels, and the newspaper filled cooler kept things much hotter than the towel filled one did.[p]Tonia

  • RRPRRP Posts: 22,055
    Q-rious Tom,
    since no one else has asked - how hot and how long do you have in mind? I mean I have kept hams and ribs piping hot for three hours merely using foil and then tightly wrapped in old bath towels then put in a cooler.

    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • mb168mb168 Posts: 265
    ranger ray,[p]Here it is, click the pic to see the full item;
    The electric blanket is a good idea, you can probably find one that the cord unplugs from the blanket is small so if you drill through the cooler you only need a small hole instead of one big enough fo rthe wall plug to go through.

  • mb168mb168 Posts: 265
    QBabe,[p]This sounds like a perfect review for the Whiz, please read this whole thread Whiz. [p]Establish the rules of a "paper" cooler and a towel only cooler. How much paper, how many towels, preheated to what temp using the same method, at least give the impression that there is some modicum of scientific procedure being applied. Then measure them both to see which will retain heat the longest.
  • RRP,[p]I made the mistake of posting some of the eggfest photos on an internal server, and now I've got half the department looking forward to trying out my egg bites.[p]So -- 4 mini-muffin pans, 12 count, and one 24-count, warm enough to still be edible after a twenty-five minute drive. But not so warm the eggs will continue to cook . . .[p]I'm guestimating I want to be between 150 and 180. I'm planning on three layers, with foil and towel between layers. I might be able to get by just by pre-heating the cooler.[p]There's not a lot of thermal mass in mini-muffin tins and two dozen eggs :-)[p]Tom
  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    Q-rious Tom,
    Just use some towels. If you are worried about heating the thermal mass just throw the towels in the dryer just before packing. If you get any complaints at work, give them a map to Mickey D's. Don't over think it and just have fun!

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